1 week ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

This is the best Galaxy Note to date — and a great overall phone — even with the loss of a couple of major features.

The quick take

Samsung has brought the once-oversized Galaxy Note closer in line with the more traditional Galaxy S line in 2015, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Cleaner software, a new-and-improved hardware design and the industry-leading S Pen add up to a wonderful phone, even though some will bemoan the loss of a removable battery and SD card slot. The Note 5 has one of the best screens available in a phone, is easier to hold thanks to the new hardware design and the internals offer a significant performance boost over the Note 4 — and even so, battery life is a non-issue. This is a Note made for even more people to enjoy, and it's a really great choice if you want a large screen.

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1 week ago

Dr. Dre's Compton heads to Play Music along with new tunes from The Sword, Method Man and Bon Jovi


Dr. Dre's Compton is no longer an Apple Music exclusive as it makes its way to Google Play Music this week, along with a number of other new releases. This week we have Dre's Compton, along with new tunes from Bon Jovi, The Sword, Method Man, and plenty of others as well. It's new music Friday, so let's check out some of this week's highlights.

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1 week ago

Listen to Russell talk Virtual Reality with 98Rock


Our own Russell Holly joined the crew at 98Rock, a local radio station, to talk all things VR. From current generation hardware, to what could come next and everything in-between, the conversation was a great one. Whether VR is something that piques your interest, or you just like general tech talk, you won't want to miss this show.

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1 week ago

Samsung reportedly working on a tablet with a massive 18.4-inch display


Samsung is reportedly working on a new tablet that's set to sport an 18.4-inch display. This massive screen could prove to be an ideal solution for tablet deployment at schools and offices, as well as the living room. According to SamMobile sources, the tablet (SM-T670, codenamed 'Tahoe') will be powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop:

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1 week ago

UK court orders Google to remove 'right to be forgotten' news stories


Google and European regulators have once again locked horns with regards to the "right to be forgotten" ruling, with a UK court issuing an order to the search giant for the removal of links to stories discussing the controversial ruling.

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1 week ago

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact promotional photo leaks ahead of IFA


Sony has yet to announce the new Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact, but that hasn't halted certain sources from leaking out material and the latest is a promotional shot for the Z5 Compact. Looking at the image, the upcoming handset unsurprisingly resembles that of the Xperia Z4 Compact.

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1 week ago

OnePlus 2 starts receiving OTA with Stagefright patch


OnePlus is now rolling out the first OTA update for the OnePlus 2, issuing a patch for the Stagefright exploit. OxygenOS 2.0.1 contains numerous bug fixes as well, along with improvements to battery life:

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1 week ago

Samsung offering iPhone owners a Galaxy Note 5 to 'Test Drive' for 30 days [update]


Update: Due to "overwhelming" demand, Samsung has run out of Test Drive phones to loan out. The company is now working to have more available for trial. A Samsung spokesperson had this to say:

The response to Samsung's Ultimate Test Drive has been overwhelming and exceeded our expectations. We are excited to see how many people are eager to try something new. In just a few hours, all of the kits earmarked for this program were reserved by customers looking to try our latest and greatest devices. We're now working quickly on how to make the Ultimate Test Drive available to even more people.

Original story: With in-store sales of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ kicking off, Samsung has launched a new promotion called the "Ultimate Test Drive" aimed at getting iPhone owners to switch over to a Galaxy phone. Through this promotion — limited to U.S. residents — Samsung will be giving out a Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+ or Galaxy S6 edge (sorry, no standard GS6) to use completely free, including cellular service, for 30 days. (Sound familiar?)

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1 week ago

Catch Phil talking the Internet of Things on Portland's KOIN 6


Android Central's own Phil Nickinson recently made an appearance on Portland's KOIN 6 to talk about using your smartphone to keep your home safe with the Internet of Things.

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1 week ago

How to get better battery life on the LG G4


LG has come out with yet another amazing flagship phone which also claims amazing battery life.

While a good amount of G4 owners agree with that claim, there are many members in our forums that are constantly unhappy with their phone mainly because they are forced to charge it in the middle of the day. There are dozens of different reasons why someone might not be getting the best experience from their phone's battery but here are six things that can be quickly done to help extend the G4's battery life.

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1 week ago

Three UK ditching All-in-One 15 plan for pay as you go customers


UK carrier Three has announced that it is ditching its All-in-one 15 pay as you go add-on, leaving £10, £20, and £25 options as the three plans left for pay as you go customers.

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1 week ago

OnePlus 2 tips and tricks


Despite it's Nexus-ish outer appearance, the OnePlus 2 experience is fairly unique. There's some interesting hardware and software here, and when you really dig into OxygenOS and start poking around at the settings you'll find new ways to use this phone.

To save you some time, we've assembled this quick guide for things that are lurking in OxygenOS on the OnePlus 2 you might be interested in.

Take me to the guide!

Map your whole fingerprint for better accuracy

OnePlus did a great job with the fingerprint sensor on their latest phone, but not so much with the instruction manual for recording your fingerprint. To get the most accurate setup, make sure you are mapping as much of your finger as possible. That means move all across your thumb when pressing it to the sensor during the capture process. The sensor records 15 different imprints of your thumb during this process, so the more of your thumb it can record the greater your chances of success will be when unlocking your phone.

It's a simple thing, but the difference it makes is huge.

Edit your LED colors to fit your needs

OxygenOS is all about personalization, right down to the color of the LED on the front of your phone. You can set a special color for nearly dead, charging, fully charged, and of course notifications. The menu for this is tucked away with the Dark/Light theme settings, and adds a tiny bit of personal flair to the outside of your phone.

Head to Settings> Customization> LED notifications and you'll be able to select a color out of the available grid for each option.

You can use the hardware home sensor with software buttons

Like its predecessor, the OnePlus 2 lets you choose between soft buttons on the glass and software buttons on the display. It's a nice feature to have, but this time around there's a fingerprint sensor where that home button goes. Since a lot of folks are already bringing their thumb down to that hardware home sensor anyway, OnePlus included a setting that lets you have software buttons and the hardware home sensor on at the same time.

It may seem a little counter-intuitive to have a pair of home buttons on the phone, but the setup quickly becomes comfortable if you're already using the fingerprint sensor. If it ends up not being your thing, the setting is just as easy to disable.

Pay attention to your SIM card position

If you've never used a dual-SIM phone before, the OnePlus 2 is going to seem a little strange. If you live in the US and you think you'll just take the phone to your local carrier store and they'll help you set it up, you're only half right. Carrier stores will try to help, but with no instruction manual things can get strange.

To make things easy, remember to always have your primary SIM in Slot 1, which on the OnePlus 2 is the card that goes deepest into the phone. You don't have to have anything in Slot 2 if you don't want to, but remember if you do there's an entirely different set of settings for controlling and monitoring that second SIM.

Check out Double Tap Actions for more launch options

OxygenOS on the OnePlus 2 includes this feature called Double Tap Actions, which basically lets you set additional commands to the back and multitask buttons on this phone. There's a huge list of options available to you here, including the ability to launch the camera with a double tap which can be pretty useful.

Like any soft touch or software key setting, if the phone wakes in your pocket you run the risk of accidentally launching things. Avoiding this is fairly easy with a lock screen, but it's important to keep in mind.

OnePlus 2


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1 week ago

Stay on track with the Driver Watch Face on Android Wear


Accessing all the info you need by just glancing down at your Android Wear device saves you time everyday. The Driver Watch Face gives you the time, date, and two readouts of the time along with 3 customizable widgets for the rest of your info. Combined with a design that gives you options, it's got undeniable style.

The Driver Watch Face has a clean, and fairly simple design. The top of your screen has 3 widgets, all of which can be adjusted in the settings. The bottom right quarter gives you the battery readout for your Smartwatch, a digital readout of the time, and the date. The rest of the watch face is analog, with a second counter around the edges.

From your watch there aren't many editing options. The ability to change colors is all you get. All of the real settings are available only through your phone. Your options are all on the same vertically scrolling menu, with a preview of what the watchface will look like with your changes. Driver Watch Face is jam packed with options, so that you can adjust things until they are a perfect fit. As far as appearance goes you can change the background of the watch, the dials that hold the widget info, the type of hands on the analog face, and the color of the borders, background and text. Those are just the beginning.

Scroll down and you'll find you can change the Widgets that are displayed at the top of the watch face. You can set the widgets to show you your daily step count, the number of unread Gmail messages, number of missed calls, the weather, your Smartphone's battery and plenty more. You can also adjust how often the Driver Watch Face will refresh for weather, or heartbeat info. The last few settings are at the bottom in general settings. This includes changing the timezone on the digital display, choosing your weather unit, deciding between 12/24 hours, and several more as well.

Driver Watch Face is available on the Google Play Store for $0.99 and considering all the options, it's certainly worth checking out. Everything works quite well, and depending on the settings you choose you can easily change the look of the face drastically and keep it looking new. In ambient mode the only info that isn't visible are your widgets, and even that can be adjusted in settings. If you've been looking for a watch face that gives you tons of information, options to tweak it on style and presentation, and does it all with a great design then you should definitely check out the Driver Watch Faces.

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1 week ago

The Android-powered BlackBerry Venice slider is starting to look real

BlackBerry Venice Slider

For months now, there have been rumors that BlackBerry is working on an Android-powered device but until recently, there was very little evidence to back those rumors up outside of a single render provided by @evleaks. Since the initial rumors began, the folks at CrackBerry have been tracking blurry cam images, as well as a bunch of renders, which all appear to point to an Android powered BlackBerry becoming a real thing.

This is the latest on what we know, what we don't know, and what we think.

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1 week ago

International variant of the ZUK Z1 will come preloaded with Cyanogen OS


Cyanogen has struck another deal with a phone manufacturer, this time landing its OS on the upcoming ZUK Z1 smartphone. The international variant of the phone will feature Cyanogen OS 12.1 at launch, and will be ZUK's first phone to come preloaded with the software. ZUK, the Lenovo-backed company, recently announced its Z1, which will feature USB Type-C, a 4,100mAh battery, along with a Snapdragon 801 and 3GB of RAM.

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